Joel Shields steps into the Brewmaster role at Rogue Ales & Spirits after having trained under longtime Brewmaster John Maier for over ten years. After graciously accepting the torch from John when he retired, Joel will continue to innovate and craft World Class ales and lagers in Newport, Oregon.
August 20, 2019 — For thirty years, we only ever called one man "Brewmaster." John Maier proudly held that title, crafting Rogue ales and lagers from May of 1989 until just last month. And he left some big rubber boots to fill. But we're thrilled to report that we found the right feet to fit them. Joel Shields will step into the role of Brewmaster.
Joel has been brewing alongside John for over ten years. "It's been an honor to work with him," Joel says of John. "He's been a mentor and whenever I made a good beer, he wouldn't say a lot but you could always tell when he was proud."
Not only has Joel been training under John since 2008, he has earned accolades for his own brewing creations. In 2013, he earned the Glen Hay Falconer Scholarship, which is awarded to brewers in the Pacific Northwest who show promise. The selection committee said that Joel was a "sterling brewer, eminently qualified and poised to benefit greatly from the Siebel Diploma course." They continued, saying Joel "reflected Glen's commitment to pushing the envelope with fearless innovation."
As a result, Joel was enrolled in World Brewing Academy (WBA) International Diploma, studying at both the Chicago and Munich campuses of the Siebel Institute of Technology — which counts John Maier among its alumni.
Joel's relentless curiosity, creativity and knowledge of the craft are what make him an exceptional brewer while his dedication, intelligence and unflappable demeanor are the characteristics that define him as a leader," says Rogue President Dharma Tamm. "Rogue will continue brewing outstanding, unique beers with Joel at the helm."
"Inside, I'm excited but I don't show it," Joel tells us. He's a pretty quiet guy — much like John — but we can't wait to see what he'll innovate next.
Where John Maier was known as "More Hops," maybe Joel will take a different direction, innovating with new, crazy malts. "There's a lot of new malts that are starting to come out," he confesses. "It used to be all about hops and now it'll be nice to balance out and experiment with different malts."
We hope you'll raise a glass of Rogue to Rogue Brewmaster Joel "More Malts" Shields. Cheers, Joel.